(c) 1. Relative to the pension fund the term “funded” refers to the relationship between pension fund assets and the present value of expected future pension benefit payments; thus, the pension fund may be fully funded or under funded. Relative to the employer, the term “funded” refers to the relationship of the contributions made by the employer to the pension fund and the pension expense accrued by the employer; if the employer contributes annually to the pension fund an amount equal to the pension expense, the employer is fully funded. 2. Relative to the pension fund, the pension liability is an actuarial concept representing an economic liability under the pension plan for future cash payments to retirees. From the viewpoint of the employer, the pension liability is an accounting credit that results from an excess of amounts expensed over amounts contributed (funded) to the pension fund.
(d) 1. The theoretical justification for accrual recognition of pension costs is based on the matching concept. Pension costs are incurred during the period over which an employee renders services to the enterprise; these costs may be paid upon the employee’s retirement, over a period of time after retirement, as incurred through funding or insurance plans, or through some combination of any or all of these methods. 2. Although cash (pay-as-you-go) accounting is highly objective for the final determination of actual pension costs, it provides no measurement of annual pension costs as they are incurred. Accrual accounting provides greater objectivity in the annual measurement of pension costs than does cash accounting if actuarial funding methods are applied to actuarial valuations to determine the provision for pension costs. While cash accounting provides a more precise determination of the final cost, accrual accounting provides a more objective measure of the annual cost.
(e) Terms and their definitions as they apply to accounting for pension plans follow: 1. Service...
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